Thursday, 29 August 2013

Moving to Jebel Ali. Al Muntazah here we come.

Sadly (because I like to have a moan) I cannot really give you a great big honestly miserable account of our move because it went off so much better than I thought it would. You see there is an upside to being negative.

But that won’t stop me from making a meal of the move now will it?  “No.” I answer myself gaily. “It won’t.”
Bryan and I spent a great deal of time thinking that we should move. Not because we did not love our apartment on the Palm but because every year we would have to run the gauntlet of the negotiations with the landlady where we would refuse to pay the increases she was asking for. It just got tiresome. Our Palm landlady is a feisty octogenarian who is frail of body and more sound of mind that she would have you believe. She had Bryan hook line and sinker. Bryan will tell you that he did all the things that he did for her because if she got an estate agent to do it somehow we would land up the worse for it. Well there is a great deal of truth in that, but, those of you who know Bryan will know that old ladies and babies can wind Bryan around their little fingers.  This year she did get herself an estate agent and of course the estate agent agreed with her that she could get a better rental. Presumably knowing full well she can’t. Of course the agent gets no real income from the apartment unless a new tenant takes over. We managed, yet again, to convince her that we would not pay more but she insisted that we pay a years’ rent in advance. Now before you are utterly horrified at that statement bear in mind that this is not unusual in Dubai. Not unusual at all. However what was a bit beyond the pale was her wanting to retain the right to give us one months’ notice in case she found a tenant willing to pay more. Well you know enough is enough. You can’t have it both ways.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, discussions, lists of pros and cons,  boring everyone we know with talk of should we or shouldn’t we and where should we and putting our names on lists we got a call to say there was a villa available in the Complex of Bryan's choice. Yip-a –dee doo-da the move was underway and not a moment too soon as we were about to sign a year’s lease in the absence of a preferred alternative coming up. WHEW.
And then naturally (with me) panic set in. And really? What for? People move all the time.

I went on line and logged on the Dubai ladies go to for anything site - Expat Women - Dubai

I did a search for conversations relating to removal companies. You know the sort of thing - who recommended who, who was best avoided, and who should be run away from screaming. I found 4 respectable operators. Thank heavens for the comfort and sense of security that comes with a bunch of housewives swapping tips on line. Somehow I landed up with five companies coming to quote on the back of my four phone calls …… go figure. Let’s just say that the stroppy door stopper interloper was given a set down and sent on his way.
I downloaded pages of hints on what to do when you move. I printed them out. I printed out lists with boxes to tick. I printed out a 6 page check off list for snags. HA bloody HA. What a waste of paper that was. I was full of good intentions. Frankly just the process calmed me down which is really the point -right? What I did not do was check much off of the many pieces of paper I had on my clip board. Yes, I had a clip board. I went and bought coloured markers and coloured stickers. I printed out floor plans of the villa and colour-coded the rooms. I absolutely was going to label each box with the corresponding colour room that the box was to be delivered to. I would have bought a lot more coloured markers and stickers but fortunately I had the  House Guest Extraordinaire visiting (yes in the middle of the move poor brave soul) and she managed to stop me from emptying my savings into a felt-tip pen purchasing frenzy. When the movers arrived they summarily rejected my brilliant plan and did what they do and know best, very efficiently and very quickly. They packed up my home and moved my stuff.  

House Guest Extraordinaire keeping out of the way of the efficient movers. In the bath tub.... as you do......

We did have a bit of a drama before we moved. I went down to the building lobby security to let them know that we would be moving and that they should put up those things that protect the sides of elevators from people moving big stuff. The security man said “NO” . Apparently we cannot leave the building without an  NOC ( No Objection Certificate) from the developers of the Palm. W.T.F. I have absolutely no relationship with bloody Nakheel so why do I need their permission to leave the building? Apparently this is them looking out for the interests of the owners. Well that was news to the owner.  What followed was a frenzied rush of me gadding about trying to find out what was required to get this N.O.C. Mixed messages are what I got. Now I know that when The Little Man say “no” you know that  he will not move until The Big Man says he can, so I could not possibly move without something from Management to The Worker Ant telling him I could leave the building. Many emails later and Bryan making phone calls and still we had nothing. It took Bryan hunting down some man in an office and checking said man’s junk mail for us to finally get what we needed.  Bryan needed a session of calming therapy after that. What he got was time to work out how his apple lap top worked with a bit of help from Frances  -remember  I mentioned the house guest extraordinaire?

Bryan calming himself after his run in with Nakheel by working from home and getting to grips with his new computer.
The actual packing and moving and unpacking of the furniture was a complete breeze. Mainly because I did not do it. Yawningly boring for me - YAY.

moving out of Apt. 503. the last few items.....
The unpacking of my kitchen, crockery and linen is another matter altogether. I now realise that our apartment was very well designed in terms of storage. My new huge kitchen (and laundry) has the same amount of storage space one would expect to find in a bedsit. It is a HUGE problem for me. I look in despair at my space and think WHY MEEEEEEEEEE in the most pathetic way. Honestly you would think I was dealing with solving the problem of World Poverty. And of course I have my PICTURES. Where oh where am I going to hang them all?  So many walls. So many rooms. So many choices. I want to put them all in the best spot. But there can only be one best spot. What do I do with the rest of my art? Oh the delicious agony of it all.
I will bore you all with the details in a few weeks time.
Right now I must dash. I cannot for the life of me find the kettle. And I personally packed that because I had this list of handy hints. You know the sort:- Pack a box of essential supplies,  the kettle, a loo roll, bla, bla, bla. Fat lot of good that was. I do know were the Nespresso machine is because house guest extraordinaire was in charge of that. It was the only really essential item and it is unpacked and much used already.

Wish me luck unpacking.
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